Goodbye, Android Silver, we hardly knew ye! It appears that the new Google program that at one point would have replaced the Nexus program has been shelved. According to The Information‘s Amir Efrati, the decision is tied to internal changes at Google. One of its strongest proponents was Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora who recently left the company.
Other factors may have played into the decision as well. The recent focus and launch of Android One as the basis for inexpensive smartphones likely pulled attention and resources away from Android Silver. Concerns about the economic viability of the program may well have been the final nail in its coffin with both manufacturers and carriers said to be “lukewarm” about it.
Rumours about the new program first surfaced in April after rumblings in January that Google was getting ready to retire its Nexus program. Android Silver devices were to have been high-end devices that would run a stock or near stock version of Android and meet a set of hardware specifications outlined by Google. More recently, Dave Burke, head of Android engineering and the Nexus program at Google, said that the company was “still invested in Nexus.” This raised the possibility that the two programs might co-exist before more recent rumours questioned whether it would even launch.
While Android Silver rumours have gone dry, rumours of new Nexus devices have picked up in recent weeks. Google is now expected to soon unveil the HTC-built Nexus 9 tablet and the 5.9-inch Nexus X (or Nexus 6) tablet. There could even be more than one Nexus smartphone this time around if other rumours are to be believed.